Every family in South Africa will have experienced stress at least once as a unit. It may not be a commonly discussed topic. However, family stress is very real and we’ve decided to shed some light on what it is, the effects on the family unit and how you can manage it. As a family lawyer and family law specialist we come across many different cases of family stress and what it leads to.

First, throw away the image you have of a “perfect” family because there is no such thing. Because of the pictures of “perfect” family units on TV and in magazines, some develop unrealistic expectations for their units. This can often lead to stress and feelings of inadequacy.


What Does Stress do to Families?

Every family is different and will react in their own ways to stress, but here are some of the most common effects of family stress:

  • Confusion (especially in children) about relationships with other family members.
  • Fatigue, health problems and general exhaustion because of busy schedules.
  • Arguments and other poor communication skills.
  • More dependence on substances like food, alcohol, nicotine, etc.


Why Don’t Other Family Units Seem Stressed?

Don’t believe everything that you see on Facebook! The happy, smiling faces that we see on social media is not the full story. Just like how families experience different effects of stress, they additionally manage stress in ways that may not be the same as yours. For example, think back to that time, you saw a child acting out at a busy shop or a couple arguing over finances.

Families also tend to react in different ways. Some may stop communicating with each other, while others use fighting to communicate.

It is vital to remember that your family is not alone. With many conveniences of modern times has come long to-do lists, high costs and busy schedules – each of these are natural triggers for more stress!

If your family gets stressed out, remember that it’s okay. The important part is choosing how to handle stress.


Work Together as a Family Unit to Fight Stress.

  • Talk about your feelings.
  • Set “Family Priorities.”

Master these stress-busting skills and you will find yourself on the road out of the red zone in no time:

  1. Learn to say “no.”
  2. Limit travel.
  3. Spend smart.

Work together as a family unit to trim your to-do list, to make room for time to enjoy together. If too many events and activities start to stress you and your family out, put a stop to it. You and your children will be much happier.


Are you looking for a family lawyer in Durban? We have a team of specialised family law attorneys who can help you with your needs. Contact Durban Law Offices on 031 836 0307 or email us at karen@durbanlawoffices.co.za so that one of our lawyers may assist you and/or provide you with advice.